- Fairly new book: Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11, by Jason Zink, Matt Pettineo, and Jack Hoxley, A.K.Peters/CRC Press, July 2011 (more info). It’s meant for people who already know DirectX 10 and want to learn just the new stuff. I found the first half pretty abstract; the second half was more useful, as it gives in-depth explanation of practical examples that show how the new functionality can be used.
- Two nice little Moore’s Law-related articles appeared recently in The Economist. This one is about how the law looks to have legs for a number of more years, and presents a graph showing how various breakthroughs have kept the law going over the past decades. Moore himself thought the law might hold for ten years. This one talks about how computational energy efficiency is doubling every 18 months, which is great news for mobile devices.
- I used to use MWSnap for screen captures, but it doesn’t work well with two monitors and it hangs at times. I finally found a replacement that does all the things I want, with a mostly-good UI: FastStone Capture. The downside is that it actually costs money ($19.95), but I’m happy to have purchased it.
- Ray tracing vs. rasterization, part XIV: Gavan Woolery thinks RT is the future, DEADC0DE argues both will always have a place, and gives a deeper analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each (though the PITA that transparency causes rasterization is not called out) – I mostly agree with his stance. Both posts have lots of followup comments.
- This shows exactly how far behind we are in blogging about SIGGRAPH: find the Beyond Programmable Shading course notes here – that’s just a mere two months overdue.
- Tantalizing SIGGRAPH Talk demo: KinectFusion from Microsoft Research and many others. Watch around 3:11 on for the great reconstruction, and the last minute for fun stuff. Newer demo here.
- OnLive – you should check it out, it’ll take ten minutes. Sign up for a free account and visit the Arena, if nothing else: it’s like being in a sci-fi movie, with a bunch of games being played by others before your eyes that you can scroll through and click on to watch the player. I admit to being skeptical of the whole cloud-gaming idea originally, but in trying it out, it’s surprisingly fast and the video quality is not bad. Not good enough to satisfy hardcore FPS players – I’ve seen my teenage boys pick out targets that cover like two pixels, which would be invisible with OnLive – but otherwise quite usable. The “no download, no GPU upgrade, just play immediately” aspect is brilliant and lends itself extremely well to game trials.
You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2011.
- If you can get WebGL running properly on your browser, check out Shader Toy. Coolest thing is that you can edit any shader and immediately try it out.
- Another odd little WebGL application is a random spaceship maker, with a direct tie-in to Shapeways to buy a 3D version of any model you make.
- Speaking of Shapeways, I liked their “one coffee cup a day project“. The low-resolution cup is particularly good for computer graphics people, though I’m told that in real life it’s a fair bit more rounded off, due to the way the ceramic sets. Ironic. Also, note that these cups are actually quite small in real life (smaller than even espresso cups), which is too bad. Still, clever.
- Source code for iOS versions of Castle Wolfenstein and the original DOOM is now available.
- Patrick Cozzi has a nice rundown of his days at SIGGRAPH this August, with a particular emphasis on OpenGL and mobile. The links for each day are at the bottom of the entry.
- Nice fractal video generated in near-real time (300 ms/frame) running a GLSL shader using this code. Reddit thread here, about an earlier video now pulled back online.
- This site gives a darn long list of educational institutions offering videogame design degrees. It’s at least a place to start, if you’re looking for such things. That said, I’ve heard counterarguments from game company professionals to such specialized degrees, “just learn to program well and we’ll teach you the videogames business”.
Bonus thing: Draw a curve of your data for a number of years and see what it most closely correlates. Peculiar.